Home  ›  Glossary  ›


(Service Provider)

Wireless carriers - also called wireless service providers or mobile network operators (MNOs) - are the companies that operate the wireless networks and sell use of those networks (the service).

The network consists of antennas linked to base stations (commonly called "towers"), and infrasructure linking them. The service is simply allowing customers to access the network, typically billed by the minute.

Some carriers offer flat-rate plans. Still others, called MVNOs, do not own a network.


"Carrier" can also refer generally to the radio waves "carrying" the signal, or specifically to a small part of a frequency band.

Last updated May 23, 2014 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

Still confused? Spot a mistake? Give us your feedback on this definition.

back to Glossary Index

Subscribe to Phone Scoop News with RSS Follow @phonescoop on Threads Follow @phonescoop on Mastodon Phone Scoop on Facebook Follow on Instagram



All content Copyright 2001-2024 Phone Factor, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Content on this site may not be copied or republished without formal permission.